Is Your Dog Your Best Man?
Veterinarian Approved on May 23, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
The warmer weather usually means that there will be many couples who are planning on tying the knot this summer. Most Brides and Grooms want to be surrounded by the friends and family, including their dogs.
If this is something that you have considered doing, then here are a few suggestions on how to effectively include your dog in your wedding plans:
To begin with you should first consider what type of personality your dog has. Ask yourself whether or not he is comfortable around strangers and new surroundings. Does your dog bark a lot or whine when he gets excited? If you believe that your dog’s personality will fit in well with your wedding, your next step is to decide on where you are going to hold your event. Most churches and community centers do not allow pets inside. If dogs are allowed, make sure that you find out all the specifics, such as, whether a security deposit will need to be pain on behalf of your dog, or whether he has to be leashed at all times.
If you are having an outdoor wedding, then including your dog would be just fine.
There are many ways that your dog can be a part of your big day.
Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, a Dallas-based wedding designer and author of ‘Dog Parties’ suggests that: “A small dog or a cat could be carried down the aisle by a junior bridesmaid in a basket decorated with flowers.”
She also suggests that a larger dog can be walked down the aisle tied to a leash that is made of ribbon and has both the bride’s and groom’s names printed on it.
If, however, you do not want your dog to have a role in your wedding, then you can always display a professionally taken photo of him and make mention of him in your toast. You can even include your dog’s name in your ceremony program.
If you have decided to include your dog in your wedding then you should seriously consider your dog’s wedding attire. There are a few great pet fashion websites where you can purchase the purrfect wedding dress or suit for your dog. If you have a small dog then you can shop on Pinkbellygifts.com to purchase a wedding gown or tuxedo for your little dog. Alternativley, you may only want to dress your dog with a manly bow tie or a loverly tiara. For these wedding accessories for your dog you can browse Quintessentialpet and Glamourdog.com.
Another wonderful dressing arrangement for your dog is to have your florist make your dog a wreath of your wedding flowers or, if you have a boy dog, then you can affix a single rose to his collar instead.
Be sure to include your dog during your wedding rehearsal so that he can practice walking down the aisle with you or his wedding escort, if he will be walking down the aisle alongside someone else. Also, choose a person whom your dog knows and trusts to hold onto your dog’s leash during the actual wedding ceremony. It is also a good idea to have plenty of doggie treats and water available for your dog. A nice, yummy treat given to your dog to chew on will put a quick stop to any disruption that your dog may be planning. Instruct a relative or responsible friend to accompany your dog away from your wedding ceremony if he gets out of hand.
You should also consider hiring a dog sitter to swing by your wedding to pick up your dog and whisk him away from your wedding party. In case you are leaving for your Honeymoon right after your wedding, you should make sure that you have arranged a dog sitter or doggie hotel stay for your dog beforehand.
During most weddings, dogs will usually work up a big appetite due to all of the excitement, attention and activity surrounding your big day. You should take some of your dog’s favorite food with you and serve it to him in a nice fancy or wedding themed dish.
Remember too that dogs are very good at picking up on their owner’s emotions. No doubt you will be experiencing all kinds of emotions ranging from excitement to nervousness and you may even feel like you are on a rollercoaster ride of emotions leading up to your wedding day. Well, your dog is most probably on that same ride with you! Keep this in mind when your dog acts a bit strange or turn’s his nose up at his food. Reassure your dog that everything is ok and try to set aside some time each day to spend some quality time with your dog.
Photo Credit: rodricq
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan